The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, October 15 through Tuesday, October 21

1 Maria Bamford

Comedy: The cult comedian comes to town to headline at the Athenaeum. See her now because she inevitably packs a bigger venue.
10/16 at 8. $25. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport.

2 Michael Schmelling: Your Blues

Art: Check out the photographer’s gritty photos of Chicago’s homegrown music scenes in this new exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
10/16–12/21. Free. Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan.

3 The Art of Falling

Dance: Second City and Hubbard Street Dance team up for a sui generis production.
10/15–19 at 8. $39–$99. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph.

4 Veronica Roth

Readings: The Divergent scribe reveals her secrets to achieving New York Times–bestselling success with fellow YA author Garth Nix.
10/20 at 6. $20. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport.

5 Swan Lake

Dance: Contemporary choreographer Christopher Wheeldon sets the iconic ballet Swan Lake in 19th-century Paris, ensuring that longtime fans will be in for an innovative new treat.
10/15–10/26. $32–$170. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Jessica Malkin
Jessica Malkin Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Malkin

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Jessica Malkin, executive director of Chicago Ideas Week. Chicago Ideas Week continues through Sunday, October 19.

On Friday evening, I am going to a behind-the-scenes tour of the 606 from 4 to 6:30pm. The 606 is Chicago’s own version of the Chelsea Highline; it’s an old railway that’s about 2.7 miles that the City of Chicago is redeveloping into an elevated park system. It won’t be open until June 2015, but they have allowed us to do a hard-hat tour. Afterwards attendees will be going to Weegee’s Lounge for drinks and discussion about the design.

“After that I’m going to our music session, Deconstructing Your Playlist; it’s always one of my favorites. WXRT’s Terri Hemmert is hosting and we’ve got Daniel Levitin speaking. He wrote This is Your Brain On Music and The World in Six Songs. It’s a fun Friday night session where you get a little bit of entertainment and intellect. And then you can go out for dinner. My go-tos are Piccolo Sogno or Soho House. Piccolo Sogno has the best outdoor patio and Soho House is my backup for everything because I don’t need a reservation.

“Saturday night, I will go to our Creative Process talk; this is one that we’ve done every single year. We’ve got Joan Cusack who will talk about her roles in Sixteen Candles and Working Girl and the television show Shameless.

“On Sunday, I’ll probably stop by Elise Bergman’s studio for her lab. She’s a local fashion designer who relies solely on eco-smart fabrics. She’s going to explain her hand-printing techniques.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week

Open House Chicago

Architecture: This is your annual opportunity to get a sneak peek at the interiors of 150 of Chicago’s most iconic buildings, including The Godfrey Hotel, The Federal Reserve Bank, and The International Museum of Surgical Science—all for free.
10/18–10/19. Free. Various locations.